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17: GSM I
Professor Ian Groves
Basic components of GSM
MS / SIM / ME / BTS / BSC MSC / VLR / HLR / IN / AuC / EIN
Basic Processes of GSM
Handover Paging Location Updating Incoming / Outgoing Call
Message flow sequences
EE3158 – Lecture 17
Fundamentals of Communications
Basic Components of GSM AuC HLR BTS VLR other BSSs BSC BTS BTS MS: SIM: BTS: BSC: HLR: VLR: AuC: IN: Mobile Services Switching Centre (MSC) IN Fixed line telephone network MS including SIM Mobile Station Subscriber Identity Module other MSCs Base Transceiver Station Base Station Controller Home Location Register Visited Location Register Authentication Centre Interrogating Node Fundamentals of Communications Slide 3 EE3158 – Lecture 17 .
Mobile Station MS is the physical equipment used by a GSM subscriber (their ‘mobile handset’). EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 4 . It comprises two parts: a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) and the Mobile Equipment (ME).1.
user authentication. current Location Area Identity (LAI).2. ‘telephone directory’.g. instigation of location updates. Protected by PIN EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 5 . encryption key Kc and lists of preferred / forbidden GSM networks Semi permanent storage of user data. Specific functions include: Permanent storage of a subscriber’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and Authentication key (Ki) Semi permanent storage of system information e. Major functions are to identify the current user of an MS and to take part in security and confidentiality procedures. It also stores recent location data and may also store personal information for the user such as abbreviated dialling codes (telephone directory). generation of ciphering key.g. Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) is a smart card which carries all the subscriber specific information used by an MS. short messages Participation in mobility procedures e.
speech transducers. display. slow frequency hopping (SFH). keypad. plus a man machine interface MMI to enable the user to access services.g.3. laptops / palmtops EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 6 . timing advance. discontinuous transmission (DTX). Call handling man-machine interface. Mobile Equipment (ME) provides the radio and processing needed to access the GSM network. interfaces to external equipment e. Specific functions radio transceiving and signal processing radio related operations: power control.
A ‘sophisticated’ radio modem. ciphering and power control. Specific functions include: antennas (with diversity) radio transceiving and signal processing sending TDMA timing advance instructions to MS implementation of radio related operations: slow frequency hopping (SFH). discontinuous transmission (DTX). It comprises radio transmitting and receiving equipment (including antennas) and associated signal processing. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 7 .4. Base Transceiver Station (BTS) provides GSM radio coverage within a cell.
Base Station Controller (BSC) is a small switch with enhanced processing capability. Its responsibilities include: co-ordination and control of a number of BTSs traffic concentration low level switching operations network management interface to all radio elements EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 8 . It acts as a local concentrator of traffic and provides local switching to effect handover between a number of BTSs.5. It manages the radio channel and undertakes control of a variety of radio related procedures ensuring that reliable radio links are maintained.
Base Station Controller… 2 radio channel management handover between BTSs within its domain scheduling of paging request passing system information e. LAI (Location Area Identity) to BTSs for onward transmission queuing control of radio related operations: slow frequency hopping (SFH). ciphering and power control service transcoding.g. discontinuous transmission (DTX). changing air interface rates to network rates e. converting speech from 13 kbit/s to 64 kbit/s EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 9 .5.g.
Mobile Switching Centre (MSC) is an ISDN switch with (significantly) enhanced processing capability. Responsible for call handling of the mobile subscribers within its domain. An MSC will parent a number of BSCs. Specific responsibilities of the MSC include: call control generation of call records supplementary service execution inter BSC and inter MSC handover Whilst they are identified as distinct entities within the specifications. the Mobile-services Switching Centre and Visitor Location Register (VLR) are invariably implemented as a single MSC/VLR unit. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 10 .6. this includes generating call charging records (for billing).
MSRN) passing location information to HLR EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 11 . TMSI. This includes their International Mobile Subscriber Identities (IMSI). Visitor Location Register (VLR) is an intelligent database and service control function. It stores (on a temporary basis) the information needed to handle calls set up or received by MSs registered with it and controls certain services (primarily those associated with outgoing calls).7. Responsibilities of the VLR include: executing supplementary service programs (outgoing calls barred) initiating authentication and ciphering initiating paging mapping of various identities (MSISDN. IMSI. current Location Area Identities (LAIs) and supplementary service entitlements.
8. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 12 . It is responsible for determining the location of a called subscriber and for routeing calls accordingly. The IN is commonly combined with an MSC forming what is known as a Gateway MSC (GMSC). Interrogating Node (IN) is the target for calls bound for GSM users.
e.9. i.g. incoming calls barred. IMSI) supplementary service control and profile updates execution of supplementary service logic e. passing subscription records to VLR EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 13 . It carries subscription details for a subscriber and location information enabling the routeing of incoming calls towards the subscriber. the MSC/VLR currently serving the MS. Responsibilities of the HLR include: management of service profiles mapping of subscriber identities (MISDN. Home Location Register (HLR) is an intelligent database and service control function responsible for management of each subscriber’s records and control of certain services (primarily those associated with incoming calls).
The principle is that the AuC and the SIM have a unique key for every subscriber (Ki) which is used as the basis for generating a response (SRES) to a random number (RAND) generated by the AuC. i.e.10. Authentication Centre (AuC) is an intelligent database concerned with the regulation of access to the network ensuring that services can be used only by those who are entitled to do so and that the access is achieved in a secure way. [Also EIR the Equipment Identity Register . The AuC is generally integrated with the HLR. Only the true SIM will be able to generate the correct response and thus gain access to the network. ME numbers: white / grey / black lists] EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 14 .another database that holds a list of ‘allowed’ equipment identities.
GSM Processes Handover brief introduction Paging Location Area Location Update Location Area Message Sequence as example Incoming Call Outgoing Call EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 15 .
In particular. there is the need to route the call to the new cell before handover can be effected whilst maintaining the old connection until the new connection is known to have succeeded. Handover is a complex process requiring synchronisation of events between the mobile station and the network. Handover is a time critical process requiring action to be taken before the existing radio link degrades to such an extent that the call is lost. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 16 . The call must be switched to an alternative cell to provide service.Handover Handover is the means of maintaining a call when a user moves outside the coverage area of the serving cell. automatically and without loss of service.
An extreme approach would be to undertake paging throughout the entire coverage area of a cellular system whenever a mobile is to be alerted. for example if there is an incoming call to be received. however. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 17 . The problem is addressed by the use of location areas and location updating.Paging Paging is a process of broadcasting a message which alerts a specific mobile to take some action. particularly over the air interface. If the system does not know the precise cell in which a mobile is located it must perform paging in a number of cells. in anything but the smallest system this would be wasteful of valuable signalling capacity.
Each time a mobile station observes that it has moved into a new location area it informs the network by performing a location update. The cellular coverage area is divided up into a number of location areas. this enables the network to perform paging over a smaller area than would otherwise be necessary. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 18 . the system would know very precisely where a mobile was but at the expense of a very high level of location update signalling. As a compromise location areas are generally defined as a group of cells.Location Updating Location updating is used to reduce the area over which paging must be undertaken in a cellular system. All cells broadcast the identity of their Location Area (LAI). In the extreme case each cell could be a location area.
. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 19 .Location Area Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) MSC / VLR Area Location Area Cell GSM Network Areas..
all the cells connected to that MSC / VLR Location Area a Group of Cells within one MSC/VLR Area identified by its Location Area Identity (LAI) Cell identified by its Cell Global Identity number (CGI) corresponds to the radio coverage are of one base transceiver station EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 20 . MSC / VLR Area a group of Location Areas served by one MSC / VLR. i.GSM Network Areas Public Land Mobile Network the area served by one operator.e.g. e. Vodafone / Orange etc.
Location Update The MS detects that it has entered a new location area by comparing the last known LA (stored on the SIM) with the information broadcast by the local cell. If the MS has moved MSC/VLR. The MS gains access to a radio channel and requests a location update. If the serving MSC/VLR is unchanged the network can immediately authenticate the MS and note the change of LA. The HLR notes the new location (VLR) and downloads security parameters to allow the network to authenticate the mobile. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 21 . it also passes on subscription details of the user to the new VLR and informs the old VLR to delete its records. the MSC/VLR addresses a message to the HLR.
EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 22 .
LA Update Message Sequence EE3158 – Lecture 17 MS to NEW MSC (via BSS) New MSC to NEW VLR New VLR to HLR HLR to OLD VLR OLD VLR to HLR HLR to NEW VLR NEW VLR to HLR HLR to NEW VLR NEW VLR to NEW MSC NEW VLR to MS – – – – – – – – – – location updating request update location area update location cancel location cancel location ACK insert subscriber data insert subscriber data ACK update location ACK update location area ACK location updating accept ACK = acknowledge Fundamentals of Communications Slide 23 .
Revision Components of GSM System Handover Location Areas Location Area Update Location Area Update Message Sequence EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 24 .
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